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Re: process to discover and adopt/adapt relationships

From: Giovanni Tummarello <g.tummarello@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 14:29:34 +0000
Message-ID: <210271540903110729g45e7cf70vf12e7cf8e14e4f73@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org>
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
John, congratulation on  very well posed set of question.

my answer is i don't know the answer myself and i am in fact looking
forward to read from someone who does.

Giovanni

p.s. obviously the semantic web can never be credible if we have to
tell people to do step 1 the way you say. but there are some site
which collect ontologies, albeit nothing too maintained or
comprehensive.

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 1:39 AM, John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org> wrote:
> I have a question of 'best practice' (uh oh).
>
> When you need an ontology for a purpose (like creating a controlled set of
> terms to describe a domain area, let's say for authoritatively populating a
> drop-down list), there are two stages of work: (1) Find what exists. [2] If
> what exists doesn't fit the need, subset or expand it.
>
> For step [1], I go to Watson and Swoogle and Google-('.owl' only), enter
> some appropriate search terms, and try to weed through the morass of sources
> that result, eliminating mail lists and other irrelevancies.
>
> What else should I be doing to have a reasonable shot at finding the almost
> perfect, already existing ontology?
>
> [2] Now, inevitably, there are many ontologies that have some piece of what
> I want, and a few that have way more than what I want.  Now what?  I can (a)
> piece together parts of each ontology (means importing them all?), (b) use
> one of the mother-of-all-ontologies or vocabularies (cyc, wordnet, others?)
> as is (means importing the whole thing?), (c) create a new ontology that
> associates concepts to those in other ontologies (either sameAs or more
> subtle relationships), or (d) some combination of the above.
>
> It looks to me like if I want to provide a specific list of terms, that
> don't overlap, have clear definitions, are unambiguous, and fill the domain
> space, I will almost always have to create that entire list on my own (then
> I can map it to other concepts if I want to be a good boy).
>
> Even if I find a very solid ontology that meets these criteria, inevitably
> it has more or fewer concepts than I want to show the users of my ontology.
> So presenting just the right variation of the ontology requires...another
> ontology.  (I guess extension can be done by importing, and adding the few
> extra terms. But subsetting seems awkward, unless one can import and
> _deprecate_ a few terms?)
>
> Is there something fundamental I've missed in the best practices and
> technologies that people are using for this use case?  Or are we inevitably
> in a world full of duplications, possibly with some extensions and
> specializations?
>
> John
>
> --------------
> John Graybeal   <mailto:graybeal@mbari.org>  -- 831-775-1956
> Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
> Marine Metadata Interoperability Project: http://marinemetadata.org
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 14:30:23 GMT

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